IT Asset Management and ITIL 4
Here at Mint Service Desk, we’re pretty big advocates of IT asset management so we were delighted to learn that it now features as a practice in the new, recently released ITIL 4 framework.
Before this update IT asset management featured in ITIL within ‘service asset and configuration management’ (SACM). The fact that IT asset management is now a practice in its own right in the updated ITIL framework highlights that it is key in helping organizations to deliver value.
What Is ITIL 4?
For anyone that might not be aware the ITIL framework has been updated to make it more relevant to the digital age we now live in, and to shift itself away from IT to embrace a more holistic way of working.
Previously an ‘IT service management’ framework, ITIL 4 has transformed into a ‘service management’ framework which promotes the fact that the entire organization should be responsible for the delivery and outcome of its services rather than just the IT department.
ITIL 4 now falls more in line with other service management frameworks like Lean and DevOps, designed so as that it can integrate with others rather than acting alone. ITIL understands that organizations need to be flexible and adapt quickly to change - now businesses will have the ability to lean on various frameworks as and when they need to.
What is IT Asset Management?
IT asset management (ITAM) is a sub-practice of asset management. It helps organizations to plan and manage the lifecycle of all IT assets - that’s from the point of acquiring them all the way up until they are retired/disposed of.
ITIL 4 defines an IT asset as ‘any financially valuable component that can contribute to the delivery of an IT product or service’.
Assets can be hardware, software, networking, or cloud services but they can also be non-IT assets that have a financial value and are needed in order to be able to deliver an IT service, like an office building for example.
The practice can assist organizations to keep track of their IT assets helping them to understand the cost tied to each one and the value being gained from them.
Why is IT Asset Management Important?
ITAM allows organizations to have clear visibility over their assets so they can stay on top of who owns them, track their location, monitor their history, and decide which need to be purchased, re-used, or retired in order to gain the most value.
Without visibility across all IT assets it is easy to lose track of them; replacements might be purchased when there’s no real need for them, risk of theft can increase due to a lack of tracking and ownership, and assets are not used to their full potential all of which can result in a huge loss in both money and value to a company.
Software licenses are a common culprit when it comes to a messy management process. A company will provide access to software and, if they’re not managing the number of licenses they’ve paid for, will sometimes find that they’ve used more licenses than they’re allowed resulting in a breach of contract and a hefty bill from the supplier once audit rolls around.
IT asset management can support other practices too. When an incident is logged against a particular asset ITAM can step in and provide precise information about the asset to support the incident management investigation.
If organizations do not manage their IT assets effectively they run the risk of wasting money and not getting the true value out of their assets, they could even accidentally breach contractual or regulatory requirements.
Now that ITAM has become a practice within ITIL 4 we hope that many more businesses will begin to understand the many benefits of managing their IT assets.
If your organization is ready to get stuck in visit the Mint Service Desk website to see what our IT asset management software could do for you.